Evaluation of a Prototype Low-Cost, Modular, Wireless Electroencephalography (EEG) Headset Design for Widespread Application

Report No. ARL-TR-7703
Authors: Theodric Feng; David Kuhn; Kenneth Ball; Scott Kerick; Kaleb McDowell
Date/Pages: June 2016; 52 pages
Abstract: Recently there has been increasing interest in the development and distribution of low-cost modular electroencephalography (EEG) systems that can be assembled and used by scientists, physicians, and even novices for widespread application, including real-world neuroimaging, in-home medical monitoring, and gaming/entertainment, across a diverse user community (e.g., OpenBCI). Accordingly, the purpose of this pilot project was to design and test the applicability of such a prototype EEG headset consisting of a set of Velcro straps with designated locations for integrating various potential types of EEG sensors. We provided the participants with written instructions for assembling the straps and asked them to apply both the prototype system and a standard commercial system on 2 identical head models on 3 different days. We digitized the locations of the sensor locations and analyzed electrode distances relative to standard reference locations on the head models. Results indicated that the participants were able to consistently apply the system with acceptable differences in accuracy and precision (<1-cm error) for most of the tested electrode locations, which was comparable to those achieved using a standardized electrode cap with fixed electrode locations, although significant differences were observed for some locations between prototype and standard systems. In this report we also discuss implications and needs for future research.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: June 1, 2016